ACT Alliance: Small steps forward in Busan

ACT Press release from the High Level Forum 4 on Development Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea

Negotiations in Busan have ended and a new global partnership on aid effectiveness has been endorsed. Small achievements on human rights and protection of civil society were reached. China has got its separate way. Now Civil society demands concrete action from all development actors to fulfill the promises of previous conferences on aid effectiveness as well as Busan.

The final outcome document – The Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation has been approved today. And now consequences can be drawn. Suzanne Matale, Secretary General of Christian Council of Churches in Zambia states it clearly: “I am not sure that poor people in my country will benefit from the Busan Conference. Busan has seen a rearrangement of the power among the donors, whether the private sector will really contribute to development as expected remains to be seen. The human rights language is now in the
principles, but not in the indicators or practical rules.”

“ACT Alliance has – together with a large network of civil society organisations – successfully advocated for a protection of an enabling space for civil society and faith based organizations to protect civil society’s fundamental rights”, said Peter Lanzet, of the German Church Development Service (EED) representative of ACT Alliance in the Better Aid Coordination Group. The Better Aid Coordination Group negotiated the Busan Outcome Document on behalf of Civil Society. Peter Lanzet said: “Civil society has achieved that its agreed international rights are protected in the document. Still, we would have preferred a specific reference to civil society’s freedom of assembly and speech.”

Martin Pedersen, representing DanChurchAid in ACT Alliance, states: “China is now part of the new global partnership, but not committed to its rules, for example transparent and responsible cooperation. This means that China is not ready for transparent and accountable cooperation, based on multi-stakeholder dialogue.”

Donors wanted results and value for money in the centre of the new agreement. That is perceived as donor policies, said Bright Mawudor of the All Africa Conference of Churches. No developing country has actually planned for that despite the language in the Busan Outcome Document. He said: Developing countries have turned their back on attempts to impose results agreements and performance based finance models on them.

For more information, contact: Martin R. Pedersen, of ACT Alliance team in Busan, +45 29 91 69 30 – mrp@dca.dk